White Womens Rights: The Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States

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In a compelling and illuminating exploration of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century feminist thought, Newman explores how racial thinking distorted liberal ideals of citizenship and democracy and limited the commitments of white women to equality for all. Everyone interested in the deep-rooted and paradoxical consequences of hidden racism should read this book. The book is, if anything, more broadly significant than it looks at first encounter. White Women's Rights is acute in its demonstration that important breaks in feminist and anthropological thought have often developed unevenly and contradictorily, shuffling elements of existing evolutionary models rather than overthrowing them.

The tone of Newman's work is exemplary, evoking tragedies without lapsing into easy moralism.


History of feminism - Wikipedia

White Women's Rights is an important addition to the study of US racism. A provocative and challenging book. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Academic Skip to main content. Choose your country or region Close. Ebook This title is available as an ebook. Other publications included Richard Pankhurst 's Englishwoman's Review As it went, Mill withdrew as the movement became more aggressive with each disappointment.

Despite this, the women accrued political experience, which translated into slow progress at the local government level. But after years of frustration, many women became increasingly radicalized. Some refused to pay taxes, and the Pankhurst family emerged as the dominant movement influence, having also founded the Women's Franchise League in , which sought local election suffrage for women. The Isle of Man, a UK dependency, was the first free standing jurisdiction to grant women the vote , followed by the right to vote but not to stand in New Zealand in , where Kate Sheppard [92] had pioneered reform.

Some Australian states had also granted women the vote. This included Victoria for a brief period —5 , South Australia , and Western Australia Australian women received the vote at the Federal level in , Finland in , and Norway initially in completed in In the early part of the 20th century, also known as the Edwardian era, there was a change in the way women dressed from the Victorian rigidity and complacency. Women, especially women who married a wealthy man, would often wear what we consider today, practical.

Books, articles, speeches, pictures, and papers from the period show a diverse range of themes other than political reform and suffrage discussed publicly. As Emmline Pankhurst put it, they viewed votes for women no longer as "a right, but as a desperate necessity". American feminists such as Susan B. Anthony visited Britain. Veterans such as Elizabeth Garrett also joined. In , the Daily Mail first labeled these women " suffragettes " as a form of ridicule, but the term was embraced by the women to describe the more militant form of suffragism visible in public marches, distinctive green, purple, and white emblems, and the Artists' Suffrage League 's dramatic graphics.

The feminists learned to exploit photography and the media, and left a vivid visual record including images such as the photograph of Emmeline. The protests slowly became more violent, and included heckling, banging on doors, smashing shop windows, and arson. These tactics produced mixed results of sympathy and alienation. From these political actions, the suffragists successfully created publicity around their institutional discrimination and sexism.

At the beginning of the 20th century, feminist science fiction emerged as a subgenre of science fiction that deals with women's roles in society. Female writers of the utopian literature movement at the time of first-wave feminism often addressed sexism. Charlotte Perkins Gilman 's Herland did so.

During the s, writers such as Clare Winger Harris and Gertrude Barrows Bennett published science fiction stories written from female perspectives and occasionally dealt with gender- and sexuality-based topics while popular s and 30s pulp science fiction exaggerated masculinity alongside sexist portrayals of women. With the advent of feminism, women's roles were questioned in this "subversive, mind expanding genre". Feminist science fiction poses questions about social issues such as how society constructs gender roles, how reproduction defines gender, and how the political power of men and women are unequal.

Women entered the labor market during the First World War in unprecedented numbers, often in new sectors, and discovered the value of their work. The war also left large numbers of women bereaved and with a net loss of household income. The scores of men killed and wounded shifted the demographic composition.

War also split the feminist groups, with many women opposed to the war and others involved in the white feather campaign. Feminist scholars like Francoise Thebaud and Nancy F. Cott note a conservative reaction to World War I in some countries, citing a reinforcement of traditional imagery and literature that promotes motherhood. The appearance of these traits in wartime has been called the "nationalization of women". In the years between the wars, feminists fought discrimination and establishment opposition.

By now, the word "feminism" was in use, but with a negative connotation from mass media, which discouraged women from self-identifying as such. West has been remembered for her comment "I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute. In the s, the nontraditional styles and attitudes of flappers were popular among American and British women. The United Kingdom's Representation of the People Act [] gave near-universal suffrage to men, and suffrage to women over The Representation of the People Act extended equal suffrage to both men and women.

It also shifted the socioeconomic makeup of the electorate towards the working class, favoring the Labour Party , who were more sympathetic to women's issues. The electoral reforms also allowed women to run for Parliament. In and , both Lady Astor and Margaret Wintringham won seats for the Conservatives and Liberals respectively by succeeding their husband's seats. Labour swept to power in Astor's proposal to form a women's party in was unsuccessful. Women gained considerable electoral experience over the next few years as a series of minority governments ensured almost annual elections.

European women received the vote in Denmark and Iceland in full in , the Russian Republic in , Austria , Germany and Canada in , many countries including the Netherlands in , Czechoslovakia today Czech Republic and Slovakia in , and Turkey and South Africa in French women did not receive the vote until Liechtenstein was one of the last countries, in The political change did not immediately change social circumstances.

With the economic recession, women were the most vulnerable sector of the workforce. Some women who held jobs prior to the war were obliged to forfeit them to returning soldiers, and others were excessed. Legislative reform was sought for discriminatory laws e. She expressed the critical need for consideration of difference in gender relationships as "what women need to fulfill the potentialities of their own natures".

Black Feminism, Popular Culture, and Respectability Politics

The council continued until the end of the Second World War. Laws prevented feminists from discussing and addressing reproductive rights.

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Annie Besant was tried under the Obscene Publications Act in for publishing Charles Knowlton 's Fruits of Philosophy , [] a work on family planning. She and her colleague Charles Bradlaugh were convicted but acquitted on appeal. The subsequent publicity resulted in a decline in the UK's birth rate. In America, Margaret Sanger was prosecuted for her book Family Limitation under the Comstock Act in , and fled to Britain until it was safe to return. Sanger's work was prosecuted in Britain.

She met Marie Stopes in Britain, who was never prosecuted but regularly denounced for her promotion of birth control. In , Sanger started the Birth Control Review. The British penalty for abortion had been reduced from execution to life imprisonment by the Offences against the Person Act , although some exceptions were allowed in the Infant Life Preservation Act In the Netherlands, Aletta H. Jacobs , the first Dutch female doctor, and Wilhelmina Drucker led discussion and action for reproductive rights. Jacobs imported diaphragms from Germany and distributed them to poor women for free.

In most front line countries, women volunteered or were conscripted for various duties in support of the national war effort. In Britain, women were drafted and assigned to industrial jobs or to non-combat military service. The British services enrolled , women. The largest service, Auxiliary Territorial Service , had a maximum of , women enrolled, many of whom served in anti-aircraft gun combat roles. In Germany, women volunteered in the League of German Girls and assisted the Luftwaffe as anti-aircraft gunners, or as guerrilla fighters in Werwolf units behind Allied lines.

Many American women retained their domestic chores and often added a paid job, especially one related to a war industry. Much more so than in the previous war, large numbers of women were hired for unskilled or semi-skilled jobs in munitions, and barriers against married women taking jobs were eased. The popular Rosie the Riveter icon became a symbol for a generation of American working women. With many young men gone, sports organizers tried to set up professional women's teams, such as the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League , which closed after the war.

After the war, most munitions plants closed, and civilian plants replaced their temporary female workers with returning veterans, who had priority. The movement encouraged women to understand aspects of their personal lives as deeply politicized and reflective of a sexist power structure. As first-wave feminists focused on absolute rights such as suffrage, second-wave feminists focused on other cultural equality issues, such as ending discrimination.

In the book, Friedan explored the roots of the change in women's roles from essential workforce during World War II to homebound housewife and mother after the war, and assessed the forces that drove this change in perception of women's roles. Over the following decade, " Women's Liberation " became a common phrase and concept. The expression "Women's Liberation" has been used to refer to feminism throughout history.

In , the term "Women's Liberation Front" appeared in Ramparts magazine, and began to refer to the whole women's movement. When the Miss America pageant took place in Atlantic City in September , [] the media referred to the resulting demonstrations as "Women's Liberation". The Chicago Women's Liberation Union was formed in Bra-burning , although fictional, [] became associated with the movement, and the media coined other terms such as "libber".

The rise of the Women's Liberation movement revealed "multiple feminisms", or different underlying feminist lenses, due to the diverse origins from which groups had coalesced and intersected, and the complexity and contentiousness of the issues involved.

Empowered by The Feminine Mystique , new feminist activists of the s addressed more political and sexual issues in their writing, [ citation needed ] including Gloria Steinem 's Ms. Millett's bleak survey of male writers, their attitudes and biases, to demonstrate that sex is politics, and politics is power imbalance in relationships. Shulamith Firestone 's The Dialectic of Sex described a revolution [ clarification needed ] based in Marxism, referenced as the "sex war". Considering the debates over patriarchy, she claimed that male domination dated to "back beyond recorded history to the animal kingdom itself".

British women drew on left-wing politics and organized small local discussion groups, partly through the London Women's Liberation Workshop and its publications, Shrew and the LWLW Newsletter. Meanwhile, in the U. Her assertion that " pornography is the theory and rape the practice" created deep fault lines [ clarification needed ] [] around the concepts of objectification [] and commodification. Brownmiller's other major book, In our Time , is a history of women's liberation.

Susan Griffin was one of the first [ citation needed ] feminists to write on pornography 's implications in her Pornography and Silence. Beyond Brownmiller and Griffin's positions, Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin influenced debates and activism around pornography and prostitution, particularly at the Supreme Court of Canada. Bart, some people see radical feminism as the only movement that truly expresses the pain of being a woman in an unequal society, as it portrays that reality with the experiences of the battered and violated, which they claim to be the norm.

This approach has evolved to transform the research and perspective on rape from an individual experience into a social problem. Third-wave feminism began in the early s in response to what young women perceived as failures of the second-wave. It also responds to the backlash against the second-wave's initiatives and movements. A post-structuralist interpretation of gender and sexuality, or an understanding of gender as outside binary maleness and femaleness, is central to much of the third wave's ideology. These aspects of third-wave feminism arose in the mids. They wanted prominent feminist thought to consider race-related subjectivities.

For many, the rallying of the young is the common link within third-wave feminism. Lesbianism during the second wave was visible within and without feminism. Lesbians felt sidelined by both gay liberation and women's liberation, where they were referred to as the " Lavender Menace ", provoking The Woman-Identified Woman , a manifesto that put lesbian women at the forefront of the liberation movement. The Feminist Solution argued for lesbian separatism. This union's threat to male normativity was substantiated by the male backlash that followed.

In reproductive rights , feminists sought the right to contraception and birth control, which were almost universally restricted until the s. They felt that reproductive self-control was essential for full economic independence from men. Access to abortion was also widely demanded for these reasons, but was more difficult to secure due to existing, deep societal divisions over the issue.

Third-wave feminists also fought to hasten social acceptance of female sexual freedom. As societal norms allowed men to have multiple sexual partners without rebuke, feminists sought sexual equality for that freedom and encouraged " sexual liberation " for women, including sex for pleasure with multiple partners, if desired. They established a Commission on the Status of Women in In , the UN issued its Universal Declaration of Human Rights , which protects "the equal rights of men and women", [] and addressed both equality and equity.

These conferences have worldwide female representation and provide considerable opportunity to advance women's rights. There is and must be a diversity of feminisms, responsive to the different needs and concerns of women, and defined by them for themselves. This diversity builds on a common opposition to gender oppression and hierarchy which, however, is only the first step in articulating and acting upon a political agenda.

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This included a commitment to achieve " gender equality and the empowerment of women" [] through " gender mainstreaming ", or letting women and men "experience equal conditions for realising their full human rights, and have the opportunity to contribute and benefit from national, political, economic, social and cultural development". Fourth-wave feminism is a recent development within the feminist movement.

Jennifer Baumgardner identifies fourth-wave feminism as starting in and continuing into the present day. The Rise of the Fourth Wave of Feminism , [] defines fourth-wave feminism as a movement that is connected through technology. In , Pythia Peay first argued for the existence of a fourth wave of feminism, combining justice with religious spirituality. This fourth wave in turn has inspired or been associated with: According to Kira Cochrane , a fourth wave had appeared in the U.

White Women's Rights the Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States

In , Betty Dodson , who is also acknowledged as one of the leaders of the early s pro-sex feminist movement, expressed that she considers herself a fourth wave feminist. Dodson expressed that the previous waves of feminist were banal and anti-sexual, which is why she has chosen to look at a new stance of feminism, fourth wave feminism. In , Dodson worked with women to discover their sexual desires through masturbation.

Dodson says her work has gained a fresh lease of life with a new audience of young, successful women who have never had an orgasm. This includes fourth-wave feminists - those rejecting the anti-pleasure stance they believe third-wave feminists stand for. The authors of the book both consider themselves fourth wave feminists.

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Like their website "The Vagenda", their book aims to flag and debunk the stereotypes of femininity promoted by the mainstream women's press. The aim of the site was to document everyday examples of sexism as reported by contributors around the world. Bates explains the Everyday Sexism Project's goal, ""The project was never about solving sexism.

It was about getting people to take the first step of just realising there is a problem that needs to be fixed. The website was such a success that Bates decided to write and publish a book, Everyday Sexism , which further emphasizes the importance of having this type of online forum for women. The book provides unique insight into the vibrant movement of the upcoming fourth wave and the untold stories that women shared through the Everyday Sexism Project. The Ongoing Feminist Revolution. The exhibit has three major sections: There are also interactive timelines linking to a vast array of sources documenting the history of American feminism and providing information about current feminist activism.

The wave metaphor has been critiqued as inappropriate, limiting, and misleading by a number of feminist scholars. The wave metaphor has been described as misleading and even dangerous because it not only renders the periods of time in-between waves as silent and irrelevant, but it also contributes to the faulty conceptualization of a particular brand hegemonic feminism as the ultimate understanding of what feminism is. The wave metaphor has further been criticized for privileging not only particular races and classes of women in the United States, but for privileging the feminism of the United States in general over other locations in the world.

The writer Olympe de Gouges amended the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen into the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen , where she argued that women accountable to the law must also bear equal responsibility under the law. She also addressed marriage as a social contract between equals and attacked women's reliance on beauty and charm as a form of slavery. The 19th century, conservative, post-Revolution France was inhospitable for feminist ideas, as expressed in the counter-revolutionary writings on the role of women by Joseph de Maistre and Viscount Louis de Bonald.

Niboyet was a Protestant who had adopted Saint-Simonianism , and La Voix attracted other women from that movement, including the seamstress Jeanne Deroin and the primary schoolteacher Pauline Roland. Unsuccessful attempts were also made to recruit George Sand. Feminism was treated as a threat due to its ties with socialism, which was scrutinized since the Revolution.

With the emergence of a new, more conservative government in , feminism would have to wait until the Third French Republic. In , they founded L'entente , which published articles on women's history, and became the focus for the intellectual avant-garde. It advocated for women's entry into higher education and the male-dominated professions. Modern feminism in Germany began during the Wilhelmine period — with feminists pressuring a range of traditional institutions, from universities to government, to open their doors to women.

The organized German women's movement is widely attributed to writer and feminist Louise Otto-Peters — This movement culminated in women's suffrage in Later waves of feminists continued to ask for legal and social equality in public and family life. Alice Schwarzer is the most prominent contemporary German feminist.

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The Iranian women's rights movement first emerged some time after the Iranian Constitutional Revolution , in the year in which the first women's journal was published, The movement lasted until , when the last women's association was dissolved by the Reza Shah 's government. Many of the rights women gained under Shah were systematically abolished through legislation, elimination of women from work, and forced hijab veils for women. In , Shahla Sherkat founded Zanan Women magazine, which covered Iranian women's concerns and tested political boundaries with edgy reportage on reform politics, domestic abuse, and sex.

It is the most important Iranian women's journal published after the Iranian revolution. Mehangiz Kar, Shahla Lahiji, and Shahla Sherkat, the editor of Zanan , lead the debate on women's rights and demanded reforms. It aims to end legal discrimination against women in Iranian laws by collecting a million signatures. In , Qasim Amin , considered the "father" of Arab feminism , wrote The Liberation of Women , which argued for legal and social reforms for women.

Arab feminism was closely connected with Arab nationalism. Despite these reforms, "state feminism" blocked feminist political activism and brought an end to the first-wave feminist movement in Egypt. However, writers such as Al Ghazali Harb , for example, argued that women's full equality is an important part of Islam. A new generation of Indian feminists emerged following global feminism.

Indian women have greater independence from increased access to higher education and control over their reproductive rights.

Feminism in China began in the late Qing period as Chinese society re-evaluated traditional and Confucian values such as foot binding and gender segregation, and began to reject traditional gender ideas as hindering progress towards modernization. After the revolution and progress in integrating women into the workforce, the Chinese Communist Party claimed to have successfully achieved women's liberation, and women's inequality was no longer seen as a problem.

Second- and third-wave feminism in China was characterized by a re-examination of women's roles during the reform movements of the early 20th century and the ways in which feminism was adopted by those various movements in order to achieve their goals. Later and current feminists have questioned whether gender equality has actually been fully achieved, and discuss current gender problems, such as the large gender disparity in the population. Japanese feminism as an organized political movement dates back to the early years of the 20th century when Kato Shidzue pushed for birth control availability as part of a broad spectrum of progressive reforms.

Norwegian feminism's political origins are in the women's suffrage movement. Intersectionality in Theory and Place. Cathryn Bailey - - Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 19 2: Judith Papachristou - Benita Roth - Women of Color and the Reproductive Rights Movement. Jennifer Nelson - Joyce Gelb - Haideh Moghissi - Susan Hamilton -